tv 1965 State of the Union Address CSPAN January 19, 2015 10:11pm-11:01pm EST
notion, i think, is in part, as you say, superficial, it's based on this -- the election of obama, which is obviously evidence of nothing. in some respects. it's in part generational. students are anxious to say they think differently than their parents did. but it's in large part institutional. and i think that it's important to point out to people that if you're looking at something like housing and wealth in northern cities that it actually runs counter to the civil rights movement. things get worse. >> yeah. >> over most of the period that we're talking about. things got worse in terms of segregation, from 1940 to 1980. it moderated a little bit. but since the great recession, you know, the collapse, foreclosure crisis, the collapse in black wealth. that's a very powerful piece of evidence that, you know, in fact, if you're thinking of sort of institutional story in which, you know, everything that just
gets a little bit better. not as good as we hope it would get but gets a little better. it's not true. >> well, i think we've had a wonderful discussion. i want to thank you for participating in it and bearing with us. i want to thank the panelists. thank you for coming out. >> you're watching american history tv. all weekend every weekend on c-span 3. to join the conversation, "like" us on facebook at c-span history. >> president obama delivers his state of the union address on tuesday, january 20th to a joint session of congress. now american history tv looks back to 1965 and president lyndon b. johnson's state of the union speech. lbj called upon americans to continue on what he called, quote, the road to the great society.
>> mr. speaker, mr. president, members of the congress, my fellow americans. on this hill which was my home, i'm stirred by old friendships. though total agreement by the executive and the congress is impossible, total respect. i'm proud to be among my colleagues in the congress whose legacy to their trust is their loyalty to their nation. i'm not unaware of the inner emotions of the new members of this body tonight. 28 years ago as i feel now. you will soon learn among men whose first love is their country.
men who try each day to do as best they can what they believe is right. we're entering the third century of the pursuit of american union. 200 years ago in 1765, nine assembled colonies first joined together to demand freedom from arbitrary power. for the first century, we struggled to hold together the first continental union of democracy in the history of man. 100 years ago in 1865, following a terrible test of blood and fire, the compact of union was
finally sealed. for a second century, we labored to establish a unity of purpose and interest among the many groups which make up the american community. that struggle has often brought pain and violence. it is not yet over. but we have achieved a unity of interest mock our people that is unmatched in the history of freedom. and so tonight, now in 1965, we begin a new quest for a union. we seek the unity of man with the world that he has built. with the knowledge that can save or destroy him. with the cities with which can stimulate or stifle him.
with the wealth and the machines which can enrich his spirit. we seek to establish a harmony between man and society, which will allow each of us to enlarge the meaning of his life. and all of us to elevate the quality of our civilization. this is the search that we begin tonight. but the unity we seek cannot realize its full promise in isolation. for today, the state of the union depends in large measure upon the state of the world.
our concern and interest, compassion and vigilance extend to every corner of a dwindling planet. yet, it is not merely our concern but the concern of all free men. we will not and we should not assume that it is the task of americans alone to settle all the conflicts of a torn and troubled world. let the foes of freedom take no comfort from this. for in concert with other nations, we shall help men defend their freedom. [ applause ] our first aim remains the safety and the well being of our own
country. we are prepared to live as good neighbors with all. but we cannot be indifferent to acts designed to injure our interests or our citizens or our establishments abroad. the community of nations -- maus [ applause ] >> the community of nations requires mutual respect. and we shall expect it. [ applause ] and our relations with the world, we shall follow the example of andrew jackson who said i intend to ask for nothing.
that is not clearly right and to submit to nothing that is wrong. and he promised that the honor of my country shall never be stained by an apology from me for the statement of truth or for the performance of beauty. that was this nation's policy in the 1830s. that is the nation's policy in the 1960s. our own freedom and growth have never been the final goal of the american dream. we were never meant to be an oasis of liberty and abundance
in a worldwide desert of disappointed dreams. our nation was created to help strike a wave, the chains of ignorance and misery and tyranny wherever they keep man less than god means him to be. we're moving toward that destiny. never more rapidly than we've moved in the last four years. in this period, we have built a military power strong enough to meet any threat and destroy any adversary. and that superiority will continue to grow. so long as this office is mine and you sit on capitol hill. and this period, no new nation has become communist.
and the unity of the communist empire has begun to crumble. in this period we have resolved disputes with our neighborhoods in the hemisphere and joined in an alliance for progress toward economic growth and political democracy. in this period we have taken more steps towards peace including the treaty and at any time since the cold war began. in this period, we have relentlessly pursued our advances towards the conquest of space. most important of all in this period the united states has emerged into the fullness of its self-confidence and purpose. no longer are we called upon to get america moving. we are moving.
no longer do we doubt our strength, our resolution, we are strong and we have proven our resolve. [ applause ] no longer can anyone wonder whether we're in the grip of historical decay. we know that history is ours to make. and if there is great danger, there is now also the excitement of great expectations. yet, we still live in a troubled and perilous world. there is no longer a single threat. there are many. they differ in intensity and in danger. they require different attitudes and different answers.
with the soviet union, we see peaceful understanding that can lessen the danger to freedom. i asked the american people to choose that course. i will carry forward their command. [ applause ] if we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other better. i am sure that the american people would welcome a chance to listen to the soviet leaders on our television. as i would like the soviet people to hear our leaders on theirs. [ applause ] i hope the new soviet leaders
can visit america so they can learn about our country at firsthand. in eastern europe, restless nations are slowly beginning to assert their identity. your government assisted by the leaders in american labor and business is now exploring ways to increase peaceful trade with these countries and with the soviet union. i will report our conclusions to the congress. in asia, communism wears a more aggressive face. we see that in vietnam. why are we there? we are there first because a
friendly nation has asked us for help against the communist aggression. ten years ago, our president pledged our help. three presidents have supported that pledge. and we will not break it now. [ applause [ applause ] >> second, our own security is tied to the peace of asia. twice in one generation. we have had to fight against aggression in the far east. to ignore aggression now would only increase the danger of a much larger war. our goal is peace in southeast asia. that will come only when
aggressors leave their neighbors in peace. what is at stake is the cause of freedom. and in that cause, america will never be found wanting. [ applause ] but communism is not the only source of trouble and unrest. there are older and deeper sources in the misery of nations and in man's irrepressible ambition for liberty and a better life. with the free republics of latin america, i have always felt and my country has always felt very special ties of interest and affection. it will be the purpose of my administration to strengthen these ties.
together we share and shape the destiny of the new world. and in the coming year, i hope to pay a visit to latin america. and i will steadily enlarge our equipment to the alliance for progress as the instrument of our war against poverty and injustice in this hemisphere. [ applause ] in the atlantic community, we continue to pursue our goal of 20 years. a europe that's growing in strength, unity and cooperation with america. a great unfinished task is the reunification of germany through self-determination. this european policy is not based on any abstract design. it is based on the realities of common interests and common
values, common dangers and common expectations. these realities will continue to have their way. and in our -- especially i think, in our expanding trade and especially in our common defense. three americans have shaped the policies of the united states. and because we know these realities, those policies have been and will be in the interest of europe. must shape the course of europe and for the same reasons, that course has been and will be in our interest and in the interest of freedom. and i hope to repay these visits to some of our friends in europe this year.
[ applause ] in africa and asia, we're witnessing the turbulent unfolding of new nations and continents. we welcome them to the society of nations. we are committed to helping those seeking to strengthen their own independence. and to work most closely with those governments dedicated to the welfare of all of their people. we seek not fidelity to an iron faith, but a diversity of belief
as varied as man himself. we seek not to extend the power of america, but the progress of humanity. we seek not to dominate others, but to strengthen the freedom of all people. i will seek new ways to use our knowledge to help deal with the explosion and world population and the growing scarcity in world resources. [ applause ] finally, we renew our commitment to the continued growth and the effectiveness of the united nations. [ applause ] the frustrations of the united
nations are a product of the world that we live in. and not of the institution which gives them voice. it is far better than to throw these differences open to the assembly of nations and to permit them to fester in silent danger. these are some of the goals of the american nation in the world in which we live. for ourselves we seek neither praise nor blame neither gratitude nor obedience. we seek peace. we seek freedom. we seek to enrich the life of man. for that is the world in which we will flourish. and that is the world that we mean for all men to ultimately have.
[ applause ] today we can turn increased attention to the character of american life. we are in the greatest upward surge in the history of any nation. our flourishing progress has been marked by price stability that's unequalled in the world. our balance of payments deficit has declined. and the soundness of our dollar is unquestioned. i pledge to keep it that way. [ applause ] and i urge business and labor to cooperate to that end. [ applause ]
we worked for two centuries to climb this peak of prosperity. but we're only at the beginning of the road to the great society. ahead now is a summit where freedom from the wants of the body can helpful fill the needs of the spirit. we built this nation to serve its people. we want it to grow and build and create. but we want progress to be the servant and not the master of man. we do not intend to live in the midst of abundance. isolated from neighbors and nature. confined by blighted cities and bleak suburbs, stunted by a poverty of learning and an emptiness of leisure.
the great society asked not how much but how good. [ applause ] not only how to create wealth, but how to use it. not only how fast we're going but where we're headed. it proposes as the first test for a nation, the quality of its people. this kind of society will not flower spontaneously from swelling richies and surging power. it will not be the gift of government or the creation of presidents. it will require of every american for many generations both faith and the destination and the fortitude to make the journey. and like freedom itself, it will
always be challenged and not fulfilled. and tonight we accept that challenge. [ applause ] i propose that we begin a program in education to ensure every american child the fullest development of his mind and skills. [ applause ] i propose that we begin a massive attack on crippling and killing diseases. i propose that we launch a national effort to make the american city a better and a more stimulating place to live.
[ applause ] i propose that we increase the beauty of america and in the poisoning of our rivers and the air that we breathe. [ applause ] i propose that we carry out a new program to develop regions of our country that are now suffering from distress and depression. i propose that we make new efforts to control and prevent crime and delinquency. [ applause ] i propose that we eliminate every remaining obstacle to the right and the opportunity to
vote. [ applause ] i propose that we honor and support the achievements and the creations of art. [ applause ] i propose that we make an all-out campaign against waste and inefficiency. [ applause ] our basic task is three-fold. first, to keep our economy growing. to open for all americans the opportunity that is now enjoyed by most americans. and to improve the quality of life for all. in the next six weeks, i will
submit special messages with detailed proposals for national action in each of these areas. tonight i would just like briefly to explain some of my major explanations in three areas of national need. first, we must keep our nation prosperous. we seek full employment opportunity for every american citizen. [ applause ] i will present a budget designed to move the economy forward. more money will be left in the hands of the consumer by a substantial cut in excise taxes. [ applause ] we will continue along the path toward a balanced budget in a
balanced economy. [ applause ] i confidently predict what every economic sign tells us tonight. the continued flourishing of the american economy. but we must remember that fear of a recession can contribute to the fact of a recession. the knowledge that our government will and can move swiftly will strengthen the confidence of investors and business. congress can reinforce this confidence by ensuring that its procedures permit rapid action special funds for job creating public programs should be made available for immediate use if recession threats. our continued prosperity demands
continued price stability. business, labor and the consumer all have a high stake in keeping wages and prices within the framework of the guide posts that have already served the nation so well. finding new markets abroad depends on the initiative of the american business but we stand ready with other help to assist the flow of trade which will benefit the entire nation. our economy owes much to the efficiency of our farmers. we must continue to assure them the opportunity to earn a fair reward. i have instructed the secretary of agriculture to lead a major effort to find new approaches to reduce the heavy cost of our farm programs and to direct more of our effort to the smaller
farmer who needs the help the most. [ applause ] we can help ensure continued prosperity through a reasonable recovery program to assist the development of stricken areas left behind by national progress. further efforts to provide our workers with the skills demanded by modern technology, for the laboring man as an indispensable force in the american system. extension of the minimum wage to more than 2 million unprotected workers. the improvement and the modernization of the unemployment compensation system. and as pledged in our 1960 and 1964 democratic platform i will
propose changes to section 14b. [ applause ] i will do so hoping to reduce the conflicts that for several years have divided americans in various states of our union. in a country that spans a continent, modern transportation is vital to continued growth. i will recommend heavier reliance on competition in transportation and a new policy for our merchant marine. [ applause ] i will ask for funds to study high-speed rail transportation between you are began centers. we will begin with test projects between washington and boston. on high-speed trains passengers could travel this distance in
less than four hours. [ applause ] second, we must open opportunity to all our people, most americans enjoy a good life. but far too many are still trapped in poverty and idleness and fear. left a just nation throw open to them the city of promise. to the elderly by providing hospital care under social security and by raising benefit payments to those struggling to maintain the dignity of their later years. [ applause ] to the poor and the unfortunate through doubling the war against poverty this year.
[ applause ] to negro americans through enforcement of the civil rights law and the elimination of barriers and the right to vote. to those and other lambs seeking the promise of america through an immigration law based on the work a man can do and not where he was born or how he spells his name. [ applause ] our third goal is to improve the quality of american life. we begin with learning. every child must have the best education that this nation can provide. [ applause ]
thomas jefferson said that no nation can be both ignorant and free. today, no nation can be both ignorant and great. [ applause ] in addition to our existing programs, i will recommend a new program for schools and students with a first-year authorization of $1,500,000. [ applause ] it will help at every stage along the road to learning. for the preschool years we will help needy children become aware of the excitement of learning. for the primary and secondary school years, we will aid public schools serving low-income families and assist students in both public and private schools.
[ applause ] for the college years, we will provide scholarships to high school students of the greatest need and we will guarantee low-interest loans to students continuing their college studies. [ applause ] new laboratories and centers will help our schools, help them lift their standards of excellence and explore new methods of teaching. these centers will provide special training for those who need and those who deserve special treatment. greatness requires not only an educated people but a healthy people. our goal is to max the achievements of our medicine to the afflictions of our people. we already carry on a large
program in this country for research and health. in addition, regional medical centers can provide the most advanced diagnosis and treatment for heart disease and cancer and stroke and other major diseases. new support for medical and dental education will provide the trained people to apply our knowledge. community centers can help the mentally ill and improve health care for school age children from poor families, including services for the mentally retarded and educated and healthy people, require surroundings in harmony with their hopes. in our urban areas, the central problems today is to protect and restore man's satisfaction and belong to a community where he can find security and
significance. the first step is to break old patterns, to begin to think and work and plan for the development of the entire metropolitan health and recreation. new and existing programs will be open to those cities which work together to develop unified long-range policies for metro political areas. we must also make some very important changes in our housing program. if we are to pursue these same basic goals. so a department of housing urban development, will be needed to spear head this effort in our cities. [ applause ] every citizen has the right to feel secure in his home and on
the streets of his community. [ applause ] to help control crime, we will recommend program to train local law enforcement officers to put the best techniques of modern science at their disposal to discover the causes of crime, and petter erbetter ways to prevent it. i will soon assemble a panel of outstanding experts in this nation to search out answers to the national problem of crime and dlink and delinquency and i recommend the constructive sit iveive criticism of congress. for over three centuries, the beauty of america has sustained our spirit and enlarged our
vision. we must act now to protect this heritage. in a fruitful new partnership with the states and cities, the next decade should be a conservation milestone. we must make a massive effort to save the countryside and to establish as a green legacy for tomorrow, more large, and small parks, more sea shores and open spaces that have been created during any other period in our national history. [ applause ] a new and substantial effort must be made to landscape highways to provide places of relaxation and recreation wherever our roads run. within our cities, a majesty of programs are needed to landscape streets and to transform open
areas into places of beauty and recreation. we will seek to prevent pollution of our air and water. [ applause ] we will step up our effort to control harmful waste getting first priority to the clean up of our most contaminated rivers. we will increase research to learn must more about the control of pollution. we hope to make the bottompotomac a model of beauty here in the capitol. [ applause ] preserve unspoiled stretches of some of our waterways, more ideas for a beautiful america
will emerge from a white house conference on national beauty which i will soon call. we must also recognize and encourage those who can be path 9ed finders for the nation's imagination and understandsinging. to help promote and honor creative achievements i will propose a national foundation on the arts. [ applause ] to develop knowledge which will enrich our lives and ensure our progress i will recommend programs to encourage basic size particularly in the universities and to bring closer the day when the oceans will supply our growing need for fresh water. [ applause ]
for government to serve these goals it must be modern in structure, efficient in action, and ready for any emergency. i am busy currently reviewing the structure of the entire executive branch of this government. i hope to reshape it and to reorganize it to meet more affectively the task of the 20th century wherever waste is found i will eliminate it. last year, we saved almost $3.5 billion eliminating waste from the national government. [ applause ] i intend to do better this year.
very soon i will report to you on our progress and on new economies that your government plans to make. even the best of government is subject to the worst of hazards. i will propose laws to ensure the necessity continuity of leadership should the president become disabled or die. in addition i will propose reforms in the electoral college, leaving undisturbed the vote by states but making sure that no elector can substitute his will for that of the people. [ applause ] last year in a sad moment, i
came here and i spoke to you after 33 years of public service, practically all of them here on this hill this year i speak after one year as president of the united states. many of you in this chamber are among my oldest friends. we have shared many happy moments and many hours of work and we've watched many presidents together yet only in the white house can you finally know the full weight of this office. the greatest burden is not running the huge operations of government, or meeting daily
troubles, large and small or even working with the congress. a president's hardest task is not to do what is right but to know what is right. yet the presidency brings no special gift of prophecy or foresight. you take an oath you step into an office, you must then help guide the great democracy. the answer was waiting for me in the land where i was born. it was once barren land. the angular hills were covered with scrubbed cedar and a few large live oaks. little would grow in that harsh
soil of my country. and each spring the river would flood our valley but men came and they worked and they endured and they built and tonight, that country is abundant. abundant with fruit and cattle and goats and sheep and their pleasant homes and lakes and the floods are gone. why did men come to that once forbidding land? they were restless, of course. and they had to be moving on but there was more than that. there was a dream. a dream of a place where a free man could build for himself and raise his children to a better
life. a dream of a continent to be conquered. a world to be won. a nation to be made. remembering this i knew the answer. a president does not shape a new and personal vision of america. he collects it from the scattered hopes of the american past. it existed when the first settlers saw the coast of a new world and when the first pioneer pioneers moved western. it has guided us every step of the way. it su